About a month ago or so, I apparently saw some jerk making threatening gesture at some teenage girl who I believe was about 16 years old.
I reacted and just as I was ready to go towards him (his other friend hold me back)... I find out it all of them were acting as a way to test people's reaction, that it wasn't serious. Needlessly to say while part of me was feeling good the girl was in no danger, I was still upset that they wasted my time.
So next time how I'm I suppose to know it's real and not another experiement/prank?
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In a situation like that, you're NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW it's an experiment, because the basis of the experiment is seeing how people react to a situation without knowing it's an experiment. If you knew what was up, the people conducting the experiment aren't doing a good job.
This is called a blind test, where the participants of the test don't know what they're being measured on, so the people conducting the test can measure the most natural actions of the participants.
In the future, just act as you normally would (which in this case you tried to intervene, which was the right thing) and don't think about whether or not it's fake, because 99% of the time, it's probably NOT fake. And your time is probably much less valuable than making sure a teenage girl isn't in danger.1